Russia has created a single command center to deal with Yukos shareholders

Russia's fight with the former shareholders of Yukos is now concentrated in a single "command center"; it is a virtually unknown autonomous non-profit organization led by former diplomat, which was created in 2015.
Origin source
Russia, forced to fend off claims of former shareholders of Yukos on foreign fronts, for the first time concentrated in one center of defense. They became an autonomous non-profit organization "International Centre of legal protection" (MTSPZ). The Yukos affair will be the first for her: MTSPZ was established only at the beginning of 2015. At the same time shareholders of Yukos began to actively pursue in the Western courts of execution of international arbitration in The Hague (in July 2014 it ordered the recovery of the Russian Federation with $ 50 billion in favor of the former majority shareholders of the oil company).

The fact that the Russian Ministry of Justice concluded a contract with MTSPZ for providing comprehensive services for the coordination of all legal actions for the protection of Russian state assets from claims of former shareholders of Yukos, told RBC two unrelated source in the government. Lawyers working in Russia in foreign jurisdictions, receive instructions from MTSPZ and meet in front of him, confirmed RBC partner of White & Case in London, Moscow and David Goldberg (White & Case - one of these firms).

The need for a single point of contact occurred after the decision of the Hagueof Arbitration of $ 50 billion. Russia has refused to pay, then the plaintiffs began a full-scale "hunt" for sovereign asset for the purpose of enforcement of the judgment.

Unknown defender

About MTSPZ little is known. The organization was registered in February 2015, from the data on the Ministry of Justice portal. She's two founders - Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences (GPI RAS), the successor of the Institute of Soviet construction at the Communist Academy, and the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Russian government (IZISP).

MTSPZ headed by a former director of the Department of Economic Cooperation Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrey Kondakov. This post he held from 2002 to 2007. Then - till 2010 - he was Kondakov President of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) - an international organization with headquarters in Greece. Under his leadership, the bank's Board of Directors approved 83 projects totaling € 900 million, according to Kondakov page on LinkedIn. He also was a member of the supervisory board of the bank "Evrofinans MosnarBank & raquo ;.

Six countries and three law firms

Now MTSPZ coordinating trials in six countries - the Netherlands (where Russia has filed a petition with the District Court of The Hague for setting aside), Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States (in the five jurisdictions Yukos shareholders seeking recognition and enforcement of the Hague of the award). In each country to protect Russian team of local lawyers: in the US, UK and Germany, is an international White & Case, in Belgium and the Netherlands - Hanotiau & van den Berg respected professor of law Albert Jan van den Berg, France - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés.

Partner De Gaulle Fleurance Andrea Pinna RBC confirmed that his team is working in the interests of Russia in the French trial of Yukos, and David Goldberg from White & Case announced that its London team is working to prevent the execution of the Hague-making in England.

Financial terms and other details of the contract could not be found with MTSPZ. The public procurement system and SPARC-based contract is not registered with the organization. Press service of the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday did not respondRBC request. Since it was not possible to contact representatives MTSPZ, including its general director Andrey Kondakov.

Without Staff

At various times, the international Yukos affair engaged in various departments (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.), single center of decision-making was not. Shortly after the defeat of Russia in The Hague in July 2014, to deal with the economic consequences of the verdict was instructed First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. But given that the Yukos case is not so much associated with economic as with law enforcement and policy issues, Shuvalov "not wanted" to do this, says the source, who participated in the discussions. The role of first deputy prime minister, he said, was more expert.

The fact that all the Yukos affair decided to transfer to non-state actors, RBC in July said a government source. This organization he described as a "special office to coordinate", where all the proceedings in the Yukos will be transferred. "We have identified the issue of governance, because I do not want it involved authorities"- Explains the source of RBC, adding that the organization set up" will receive from the state some of the funding to pay for orders for the protection of the interests of the Russian Federation. "

"Aggressive campaign"

The plaintiffs' lead to enforce [Hague] awards aggressive campaign around the world, presumably in order to create tension in relations of the Russian Federation with other sovereign states ", - is spoken in Russia petition to the US Supreme Court, filed October 20 (a copy is in RBC ). In Belgium and France, the former Yukos shareholders have received at the hands of court orders ex parte, that is issued without the participation of other parties on the implementation of the Hague decisions in June and December respectively. Russia is in the process of appealing against these orders, the hearing will take place in 2016. Parallel "yukosovtsy" are suitable to arrest Russian assets as an interim measure (in France, for example, from June to July 2015, about 150 such arrests were made).

First of all, analyzed the risk of arrest weeksvizhimogo property of the Russian Federation, in particular, all the buildings of the FSUE "Goszagransobstvennost" Summer told RBC source in the government. Under arrest, he said, can get some embassy buildings from those that do not have diplomatic immunity. But these assets are relatively inexpensive. All property which may be arrested, it is worth no more than $ 3-4 billion, not $ 50 billion, RBC argued the source.

In England, such arrests are impossible as long as the court has not made a final decision on the recognition or non-recognition of arbitral awards. There's Russia is trying to prove first of all that pursuant to the decision of the Hague arbitration is outside the jurisdiction of the English courts. A hearing on the merits will be held no earlier than November 2016, and, even if the court will confirm its jurisdiction, will continue its consideration of the actual issue of recognition or non-recognition of the Hague decision.

In parallel, the District Court of The Hague is considering a petition to abolish the Russian awards. Opportunities to reconsider last year's decision on the merits of the Hague arbitration Russia does not have: it is the final, andyigravshie Yukos shareholders could theoretically go with him to the courts of the 150 member countries of the New York Convention. But Russia has a chance to overturn the award in a local Dutch court on a limited basis (eg violation of its mandate, the arbitrators). If the Dutch court will side with Russia, the courts in most jurisdictions are likely to refuse to execute the arbitration decision in favor of Yukos shareholders. However, in countries such as France, Austria or Belgium, the courts can continue to rely on the verdict of the arbitral tribunal The Hague. February 9, 2016 in the District Court of The Hague held the oral hearing, during 2015 the parties have exchanged written arguments, and the court decision will be made, is expected in April 2016.